The baby who provoked a revolution

The birth of a male heir to James II of England made possible a permanent Catholic dynasty. Several Protestants echoed Mary and Anne’s doubts that the baby had been smuggled into the More »

Red Indians and how to tame them

The Elizabethans’ colonial voyages brought them into contact with a people very different level of civilisation from their own—the ‘Indians’ of the New World, as is illustrated by the account written in More »

Mormons in search of Promised Land, 1846-69

The Mormons have been described as the most systematic, organised, disciplined and successful pioneers in American history. For over 20 years they were one of the main forces driving the settlement of More »

‘Alien’ citizens in the Medieval England

Thousands of foreigners poured into England in the Middle Ages. Similar like today, they have been attracted to England by job opportunities or possibility to study. Finding these everyday immigrants is no easy task. More »

Napoleon Bonaparte’s relatives after he lost power in France

What happened to Napoleon Bonaparte‘s relatives after he lost power in France? They could not stay in France but, perhaps surprisingly, they came to little harm – with the exception of Napoleon’s More »

 

The grave of King Richard III finally found?

The grave of King Richard III finally found?

Richard III has become known, perhaps unfairly, as one of the most notorious kings ever to rule England. This may be partly to do with the history written by the Tudors, whose description of him formed Shakespeare’s dramatisation. Archaeologists searching for the grave of King Richard III say they have found bones that are consistent with the 15th century monarch’s physical abnormality and of a man who died in battle.

Famine in the Middle Ages

Famine in the Middle Ages

In the agrarian societies that predominated during the Middle Ages, there were a limited number of options available for avoiding the famines that would periodically strike due to the normal variation of food production. One solution was to migrate to other areas, which often involved armed conflict, since inhabitants in the new areas were loath to allow strangers to work the land and strain their resources.

Pictish society

Pictish society

The Romans classified some fifteen tribes in the north and loosely identified the territories they occupied. They also observed that tribal chiefs had a religious as well as a royal function. Women could have such a role, as was the case with Boudicca of the Iceni. The succession of leaders was matrilineal: it mattered more who their mother was than who their father was. Since it is possible that women may indeed have more than one husband, the matter of succession could be complex. later Romantics sometimes regarded this Pictish society as democratic, but it was in fact full of social differentiations.

Book review: Dickens and the Workhouse by Ruth Richardson

Book review: Dickens and the Workhouse by Ruth Richardson
Author: Ruth Richardson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Reviewed by: Peter Higginbotham
Price (RRP): £16.99

Peter Higginbotham discovers the background to Oliver Twist

On this day: London’s Great Fire in 1666

On this day: London’s Great Fire in 1666

Thomas Farynor, known in London as the King’s Baker, had a bakery in Pudding Lane, near London Bridge. He needed to keep his ovens at a steady high temperature, so he kept lots of dry wood in his kitchen. At about two o’clock in the morning of Sunday 2nd September, this wood caught fire. Actually, the fire may have been caused by a spark from the oven falling
onto a pile of fuel nearby.